Jon Provost returned to his childhood home in Pomona for dedication of the newly renovated (and branded) Lassie House. Yours truly returned too. I also have some Culture Corner items and news that “The Purge 5” filmed in Ontario as well as Pomona. All that is in Friday’s column. Above, Provost is greeted by homeowner Ray Adamyk. Note the box of dog treats in foreground — and the collies in the front row.
An event in Pomona on Saturday will be devoted to the legacy of the Mexican Players, who performed at Padua Hills Theatre from 1931 to 1974, making it the longest-running Mexican American theater in the nation. As legacies go, though, it’s a complicated one, which I try to unpack in Friday’s column. It’s a historical/cultural subject I’ve avoided for years, and we’ll see from the response if I should have avoided it a while longer. Above, a Mexican Players promotional photo, provided by the Historical Society of Pomona Valley, the event organizer.
Have you ever taken the Sky Ride at the LA County Fair? I hadn’t, despite years of thinking that I ought to; fear of heights was a big reason. But finally I rode it. Watching the ground drop away was slightly terrifying, but the view was great. I ride about the Sky Write, I mean, I write about the Sky Ride in Wednesday’s column.
One tidbit I couldn’t squeeze in abbreviated form into Friday’s column on the fair gets a longer treatment in Sunday’s, as I highlight the coincidence of asking if there was any Ritchie Valens tie-in at the fair (Valens played there in 1958) and then stumbling across one. That item doubles as a mini-profile of a musician and his wife who perform at the fair. That’s followed by a few Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette. To steal from a Valens song title: Come on, let’s go…to my Sunday column!
I visited the LA County Fair on Wednesday for the first time this season to take a walk around and see some sights. I focused on the LA Pop Architecture show on the hill, but also stopped at a vegan food stand and the Millard Sheets Art Center. That’s all part of Friday’s column.
It was a fruitful visit that will result in a column item or two on Sunday and possibly a full column next Wednesday. Above, the trippy art piece “Emergence.” Stand in front of it and the elements might appear in motion.
Five fountains were installed by Pomona in 1962 as part of the 2nd Street makeover for a pedestrian mall, and four have survived. (The fifth, at Thomas and 2nd, was removed circa 1999 to make way for the Thomas Street Plaza.) All have art by prominent local artists thanks to Millard Sheets, the artist, teacher and designer who laid out the pedestrian mall and wanted to add beauty to people’s lives.
Here’s one of the fountains, produced by mosaic artists Jean and Arthur Ames and featuring the Goddess Pomona. It’s at 409 W. 2nd St., north side of the street.
City Hall is requesting proposals to clean and repair missing or broken elements of the four fountains at a cost of up to $230,000 total, as my colleague Liset Marquez recently reported. It’ll be nice to see them get some TLC.
This post has been updated to reflect the fifth fountain.
A panel last weekend at the School of Arts and Enterprise in downtown Pomona for the Arts Colony’s 25th anniversary was a chance for participants to tell stories about the last quarter century, but also about the pre-Arts Colony days, when downtown was a kind of no-man’s-land. I share some of those stories, with some follow-up questions, in Friday’s column. Above from left, Joshua Swodeck, Ed Tessier, Bill Moore, Phil Graffham, Marci Swett, Rebecca Hamm, Chris Toovey and Joy McAlister.
I’ve admired the tile mural at Pomona’s Mosaic Apartments (1680 S. Garey Ave.) while eating next door at DeAnda Taqueria. It’s a panoramic aerial view, complete with birds, and includes the fairgrounds, the Fox Theater and more. The mural is so long it’s impossible to capture in one photo. So here are three views, shot one night after dinner, and a rather dim view of the pleasant exterior of the three-story complex, which has 46 units classified as affordable.
Update: Cultural Arts Commissioner Joshua Swodeck reports: “Such a great mural. Designed by local artist Jason LaMotte and the mosaic production work was led by Alba Cisneros. It’s a beautiful public mural in District 3 right on Garey Avenue put up in 2017.” I didn’t know who had produced the mural, so I’m pleased to be able to give credit.
Swodeck also provides the handy guide to the scene, below. I’ll have to open this blog post on my phone at the mural some time and follow along.
These display cases at the Pomona Public Library are devoted to the Moon missions via magazines, toys, comic books, games and more from the era, courtesy of collector John Atwater. It’s a fun reminder, or history lesson, of the excitement of the space race. Click on the photo for a larger view. For an even larger view, visit the library!
I took this photo a few weeks ago and am belatedly sharing it in honor of the July 20, 1969, moon landing.
“American Idol” runner-up Alejandro Aranda ended his modest national tour of a half-dozen small venues with shows Wednesday and Thursday at the Glass House in his native Pomona. I was there for Wednesday’s concert and collected show tidbits and anecdotes from concertgoers, some of whom came a loooong way to see him. The result is Friday’s column.
Stats corner: Of my Top 5 most-read columns online in 2019, four are about Aranda. No. 4 is about Golden Spur in Glendora.